After an attack on Starfleet from insider John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch), Kirk (Chris Pine) and the crew of the USS Enterprise, including Spock (Zachary Quinto), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Bones (Carl Urban), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Sulu (John Cho), and Chekov (Anton Yelchin), must bring John Harrison to justice.
Harrison is hiding on Kronos, a planet inhabited by the Klingons. If Starfleet were to let their presence be known, it would bring about an all out war with the Klingons. Kirk is instructed to fly to the edge of the neutral zone and use the newly developed photon torpedoes to launch an undetectable assault on the terrorist.
When things don’t go as planned, Kirk gets assistance from an unexpected ally against an unexpected enemy. The fate of his crew and the galactic peace rest in the hands of this brash captain and an ally that cannot be fully trusted.
I realize this is a rather brief and vague synopsis of the movie. This is intentional to try to avoid any spoilers.
For those of you who shy away from the Star Trek reboots because of the stigma associated with the entire franchise, I would ask you to put that aside and see both this film and the first in the reboot. J.J. Abrams has done an incredible job with updating Star Trek to make it relevant and not at all what you are used to from the series.
Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and the rest of the cast have a real chemistry that adds depth to the film. Quinto as Spock, wrestles with both his human and Vulcan sides, letting you see the turmoil that he must deal with as both a logical being and an emotional being. Adding to this is the tension between Spock and Uhura. Zoe Saldana and Quinto have a great chemistry that plays well on the screen.
Chris Pine is an excellent Kirk. Missing is the overacting and cheesiness of William Shatner’s Captain Kirk. Simon Pegg provides the right amount of levity without making a joke of the film. Benedict Cumberbatch, while a slightly different twist on his character, plays an excellent psychopath, giving you a glimpse of where his character is going and why he has chosen this path.
If you are not a fan of the original Star Trek series, or even a casual viewer (I would not classify myself as a Trekkie, but I have seen most of the original series on both television and film), there are a lot of inside jokes and references that you will miss. While these references are not entirely crucial to understanding and enjoying the film, they do give a nod to what made Star Trek what it is today. There are some very nice touches. Again, I won’t spell them out here, as I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone.
While I have criticized some films for gratuitous use of 3D, I feel sci-fi films fit well in this format. Not only is the quality of 3D in Star Trek excellent, I feel it adds a little extra punch to the film. I would recommend spending the extra money for 3D on this one.
Seeing J.J. Abrams’ capabilities with Into Darkness gives me hope for the next series of Star Wars films.